What Do I Do If A Friend Or Family Member Appears To Be Depressed?

Question: What do I do if a friend or family member appears to be depressed?

Answer: It is a very difficult and painful scenario when a close friend or a family member is suffering from depression and seems to not be taking steps to understand what's going on or to get help.

The first thing to do is to try to speak as directly as possible with your friend or family member about what you're observing and refer them to a trusted medical professional or other trusted leader such as a clergyman for discussion about the possibility of getting diagnosed and treated for the condition. There are many support groups that are available.

Those can be found either by talking to a mental health professional or looking on the internet for various resources. The main thing is to not withdraw from the person who you care about when they are depressed. People who are depressed often say or act as though they don't want attention or any kind of help. But that often turns out not to be the case and it can be destructive to withdraw from that individual.

To the degree that you're able to speak with your friend or family member and encourage them in any way you can to visit their primary care doctor or a mental health professional for an evaluation.

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David Brendel, M.D., Ph.D.Play

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